Jack Pierson - photo of Jimmy Desana (detail)

Jack Pierson

United States 1960

Installation, Sculpture, Photography, Collage

Jack Pierson
Jack Pierson
United States
December 29, 2014

Jack Pierson is an American photographer, sculptor, and draftsman. Considered to be exceptionally prolific and comfortable working with a variety of media, Pierson is best known for his photography, abstract sculptures, and collages. His favorite subjects are drawn mostly from his daily life as a contemporary artist, like fragments of urban landscapes, still lives of ordinary objects, homoerotic nudes, and evocative words worked into collages or transformed into neons.

Pierson was born in 1960 in Plymouth, MA. He received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA, in 1984. Pierson is considered to be part of the Boston School, which is a term used to refer to a group of photographers who worked in Boston in the early 1980s, who had created a style of photography that centered on them photographing their mutual friends in intimate or casual settings.

His photographic works have often been compared to images from road movies, movies whose rapturous race toward fulfillment have become etched into the American landscape. Far from simply seeking to create traditional variations on the American Dream, the artist seeks instead to explore the flip side of the concept, searching to express what he calls ‘the tragedy inherent in the pursuit of glamour.’

He is openly gay, and many of his photographs are images of men shot in a casual, erotic fashion. In 2003, Pierson published Self Portrait, a book of photographs by features 15 images of beautiful men, arranged to suggest the arc of a lifetime – beginning with a young boy and progressing to old age with men in various stages of undress. None of the images is of the artist himself.

Pierson first began making his Word Sculptures in 1991, utilizing found objects – mismatched letters salvaged from junkyards, old movie marquees, roadside diners, Las Vegas casinos, and other forsaken enterprises. The word sculptures create individual words or phrases that evoke a multiplicity of meanings.

In 2006, inspired by an earlier series of pencil drawings he did from an old postcard of a woman’s face, Pierson produced a suite of twelve large-scale silkscreen paintings, all linearly graphic in black ink on diffused, off-white linen. Removed from its original and singular representation in a photograph, the portrayed woman’s facade is variously multiplied by hand and then enlarged by the machine-like reproduction of silkscreen. Pierson is also known for photographing noted celebrities and models, such as Snoop Dogg, Brad Pitt, Naomi Campbell, and Michael Bergin.

In 2004, his Self-Portrait series was part of the Whitney Biennial. Other examples of his work were shown in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Jack Pierson currently divides his time between his home and studio in the Southern California desert near Joshua Tree National Park and New York.

Featured image: Jack Pierson – photo of Jimmy Desana (detail). 29 67/100 × 22 in. 75.4 × 55.9 cm. Photo courtesy Kavi Gupta Gallery

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2015Jack Pierson - Solo ExhibitMaccarone Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2015Words, Words, WordsElizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2014Jack Pierson - A Town Not This OneGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgSolo
2014Jack Pierson - Folded PhotographsXavier Hufkens, BrusselsSolo
2014As high as the eye can seeFórum Eugénio de Almeida, ÉvoraGroup
2014Sed Tantum Dic Verbo (Just Say The Word)Blain|Southern, BerlinGroup
2014Pop Sculpture - Pop CultureLeila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014Private Eye: Allen G. Thomas Jr. Photography CollectionNorth Carolina Museum of Art,Raleigh, NCGroup
2014Basic Research - Notes on the CollectionMuseum Kurhaus Kleve, KleveGroup
2014Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida KahloMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA),Chicago, ILGroup
2014Now You See It: Photography and ConcealmentThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2014Pliage foldGagosian Gallery, ParisGroup
2014BibliologieFRAC - Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-lès-RouenGroup
2014Only The Good Ones: The Snapshot Aesthetic RevisitedGalerie Rudolfinum, PragueGroup
2013Ennui (la Vie Continue)Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisSolo
2013The End Of The WorldRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013Artists using Photography  Gesso Artspace, ViennaGroup
2013Never Mind The BollocksJR Gallery, BerlinGroup
2013Uia (Unlikely Iterations Of The Abstract)Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2013B.A.B.E - The Best Artists Books and EditorsImmanence, espace d'art contemporain, ParisGroup
2013(Con)TextSharon Arts Center, Peterborough, NHGroup
2013In a Sentimental MoodLa Galerie des Galeries Lafayette, ParisGroup
2013Play – The Frivolous And The SeriousMe Collectors Room Berlin, BerlinGroup
2013Striped  Art advisory, GenevaGroup
2013StillGalleria In Arco, TurinGroup
2013Disaster The End Of DaysGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisGroup
2013My Echo My Shadow Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FLGroup
2013Nyc 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No StarNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
201214th Post Cards From The EdgeCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2012So, This is ChristmasGalerie de multiples - GDM, ParisGroup
2012Twenty years afterBjörkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2012FunnyFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2012Entr'acteAurel Scheibler, BerlinGroup
2012Short CutsGalerie de multiples - GDM, ParisGroup
2012Détournement: Signs of the TimesJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012B-OutAndrew Edlin Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012The Floor Show: Gravity and MaterialsGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CAGroup
2012Portrait of a GenerationThe Hole NYC, New York City, NYGroup
2012Monkey BusinessGalerie Sophie Scheidecker, ParisGroup
2012The Palm Beach Beach Story, or Whatever Happened to Baby JaneGavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FLGroup
2011Collection 2011Blitz Gallery, TokyoSolo
2011TwilightElizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, ORSolo
2011Queer Self Portraits NowFred [London] Ltd., LondonGroup
2011Now: Obras De La Colección JumexInstituto Cultural Cabañas, GuadalajaraGroup
2011Nothing in the World But YouthTurner Contemporary, Margate, KentGroup
2011Gute HoffnungGalerie Sabine Knust, MunichGroup
2011The Spectacular of VernacularContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2011Distant StarKurimanzutto, Mexico CityGroup
2011Distant StarRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Knock, Knock! From the Collection of Paul and Sara MonroeVCUarts Anderson Gallery,Richmond, VAGroup
2011T_XT_RTJenkins Johnson Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011THE LAST FIRST DECADEEllipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2011Everything You Can Imagine Is Real…Xavier Hufkens, BrusselsGroup
2011At Capacity: Large Scale Works From The Permanent CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FLGroup
2011Compass - Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art New YorkMartin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2011Blink! Light, Sound & the Moving ImageDenver Art Museum, Denver, COGroup
2011Jack Pierson and Elliott Puckette - CollageDanziger Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011Robert Mapplethorpe: Night WorkAlison Jacques Gallery,LondonGroup
2011T_XT_RTJenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2011T_XT_RTJenkins Johnson Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010DrawingsGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgSolo
2010Jack Pierson - Night Kukje Gallery, SeoulSolo
2010Some Other SpringRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CASolo
2010Jack pierson - New photographsGalerie Sabine Knust, MunichSolo
2010Missing BeatSommer Contemporary Art, Tel AvivGroup
2010Love in Vein: Editions Fawbush projects & artists 2005-2010Sandra Gering Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Salad DaysThe Journal Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from La Colección JumexCAC - Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2010Portraits 2Tomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoGroup
2010Do or Die -The Human Condition in Painting and PhotographyWallraf-Richartz-Museum,CologneGroup
2010Auf Leben und Tod (Do or Die Auf Leben)Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, CologneGroup
2010lluminations (After Arthur Rimbaud)Leila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010México : esperado inesperado - B.P.S.22Espace de Création Contemporaine, CharleroiGroup
2010Group ExhibitionXavier Hufkens, BrusselsGroup
2010Male  MAUREEN PALEY, LondonGroup
2010SWEATPatricia Low Contemporary, GstaadGroup
2010Third ThoughtsCCA Andratx, Andratx Group
2010Country MusicBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010The Facebook ShowMuseum of New Art - MONA, Pontiac, MIGroup
2010Márgenes de Silencio (Margins of Silence)Centro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, CáceresGroup
2010Six Days OnlyTrack 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2010KurtSeattle Art Museum, Seattle, WAGroup
2010TWENTY FIVELuhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010You're ScriptedGalerie Gabriele Senn, ViennaGroup
2010Now Through a Glass DarklyArario Gallery New York, NYGroup
2010THIS IS MY CONDITION Galeria Filomena Soares, LisbonGroup
2010The Wing in the Contemporary ArtGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgGroup
2010Who are you close toThrust Projects, New York City, NYGroup
2010The Library of Babel: In and Out of PlaceZabludowicz Collection London, LondonGroup
2010Think PinkGavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FLGroup
2010Denim80WSE, Washington, DCGroup
2009Jack Pierson: AbstractsCheim & Read, New York City, NYSolo
2009Mexico: Expected Unexpected. Collection Isabel and Agustín CoppelStedelijk Museum Schiedam, SchiedamGroup
2009Where Do We Go From Here?Bass Museum of Art,Miami, FLGroup
2009Learn to Read Art: A History of Printed MatterMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2009Abstractions by Gallery ArtistsCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2009A Tribute To Ron WarrenMary Boone Gallery - 541 West 24 Street, New York City, NYGroup
2009MonumentalGalerie Laroche Joncas, Montreal, QCGroup
2009MonumentalProjex-Mtl Galerie, Montreal, QCGroup
2009Stars!Salon 94 Freemans, New York City, NYGroup
2009The Secret Life of ObjectsMidway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2009LEARN TO READ ART: A History of Printed MatterBadischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe Group
2009White NoiseJames Cohan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009FLOWER POWERCraa Centro di ricerca arte attuale Villa Giulia, VerbaniaGroup
2009Four - 4 - photography-painting-sculpture-drawing and videoBlack Cube Gallery, BarcelonaGroup
2009LocationDanziger Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings CollectionMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2009Kids behaving badlyClampArt, New York City, NYGroup
2008Jack Pierson - Solo ShowMusée d'Ixelles, BrusselsSolo
2008Jack PiersonXavier Hufkens, BrusselsSolo
2008Jack Pierson - Solo ExhibitIrish Museum of Modern Art - IMMA, DublinSolo
2008Other People: Portraits From Grunwald And Hammer CollectionsHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Ego DocumentsKunstmuseum Bern, BernGroup
2008How To Cook A Wolf: Part OneDinter Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2008Musical PaintingsAurel Scheibler, BerlinGroup
2008FEARWedel Fine Art, LondonGroup
2008Listen Darling… The World is YoursEllipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2008Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup
2008An unruly history of the readymadeGaleria Jumex, Mexico CityGroup
2008Boys Of SummerThe Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NYGroup
2008Pretty UglyGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2008Now and Forever, Part IIMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2008Jack Pierson, Dan McCarthy, David DupuisThe Journal Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008Blasted AllegoriesKunstmuseum Luzern, LucerneGroup
2008CouplesBjörkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2008Desenhos estranhos [Uncanny drawings]Porta 33, FunchalGroup
2008Nina in PositionArtists Space, New York City, NYGroup
2008The Sum of its PartsCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2006Tom Burr–Jack PiersonGalerie NEU, BerlinGroup
2006INTO ME OUT OF MEKW Institute for Contemporary Art , BerlinGroup
2006A Century of CollageElizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2006Big City LabNymphius Projekte Berlin, BerlinGroup
2006Into me Out of meMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2006Group show (opening exhibition)Ellipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2006Made in USAGalerie de multiples - GDM, ParisGroup
2006THE CULTURE OF QUEERLeslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York City, NYGroup
2006SurvivorBortolami, New York City, NYGroup
2006By DesignTaka Ishii Gallery, TokyoGroup
2006Middle Ground: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American ArtMiriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery - Columbia University, New York City, NYGroup
2006Seeing the LightCarl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2006Hollywood BoulevardGaleria Fortes Vilaça, São PauloGroup
2005Jack Pierson: Self PortraitsGaleria Javier López, MadridSolo
2005Im WortKunsthalle Göppingen, GöppingenGroup
2005Read Me! Text in ArtArmory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CAGroup
2005Wild WestGalerie Gebr. Lehmann, BerlinGroup
2005Come, come, come into my worldEllipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2005Intimate StrangersBarton Art Galleries, Wilson, NCGroup
2005Autumn ReadingBjörkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2005I Am As You Will Be: The Skeleton in ArtCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2005Words Fail MeMuseum of Contemporay Art Detroit, Detroit, MIGroup
2005Friends from the Boston SchoolClampArt, New York City, NYGroup
2005People Take Pictures of Each OtherLaMontagne Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2005Exposures, the contemporary self-portraitGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgGroup
2005Neo integrityDerek Eller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Gallery ArtsistsRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005ROCK ’N’ ROLL Vol ISørlandets Art Museum, KristiansandGroup
2005The RecognitionsThe Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NYGroup
2005Some kind of PortraitMarc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Out of ArtCentre d'Art, Biel, BienneGroup
2005The show on VegasM+B, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Rockers IslandMuseum Folkwang Essen, EssenGroup
2005LACE Annual BenefitLACE - Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Art in America , NowMOCA Shanghai, ShanghaiGroup
2005Into Me, Out of MeMACRO Testaccio (MACRO Future), RomeGroup
2005Timer 01Triennale Bovisa, MilanGroup
2005Disorder in the HouseVanhaerents Art Collection, BrusselsGroup
2005Martin Maloney - Robert Mapplethorpe - Jack PiersonXavier Hufkens, BrusselsGroup
2005Contemporary Photography and the Garden - Deceits and FantasiesHudson River Museum,Yonkers, NYGroup
2005RockN Roll Vol. 1Norrköping Art Museum, Norrköpings Konstmuseum, NorrköpingGroup
2005Photography As The: Eye GymAR Contemporary Gallery, MilanGroup
2005Final exhibition at 4 Clifford StreetAlison Jacques Gallery, LondonGroup
2005Looking at WordsAndrea Rosen Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Closing DownBortolami, New York City, NYGroup
2005Romance Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, LisbonGroup
2005What I did on my summer vacation... ClampArt, New York City, NYGroup
2005WordplayJulie Saul Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Nine PortraitsStephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2005Edition SchellmannElizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2005Getting EmotionalICA - Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, MAGroup
2005In Focus - Contemporary Photography From The Allen GNorth Carolina Museum of Art,Raleigh, NCGroup
2005Collection 2 - Collection SalomonFondation pour L'Art Contemporain, Claudine et Jean-Marc Salomon, AlexGroup
2005Sad SongsUniversity Galleries at Illinois State University, Normal, IlGroup
2005Colecoes VI - 17 Foros - 18 ArtistasGaleria Luisa Strina, São PauloGroup
2005SEXBjörkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2005Desenhos A-Z Porta 33, FunchalGroup
2005Double CheckCamera Austria, GrazGroup
2005In LimboVictoria H. Myhren Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2005There is No Such Thing as the Real WorldOSL contemporary, OsloGroup
2004Jack Pierson - Self PortraitRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CASolo
200415 year anniversary of Regen ProjectsRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004AmfAR: Photography PortfolioRena Bransten Projects, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004Word of Mouth, A Selection: Part IDinter Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2004Amfar Photography PortfolioLe Case d'Arte, MilanGroup
2004Never Never LandscapeGerhardsen Gerner, BerlinGroup
2004I Am The WalrusCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
200410 Year Anniversary ExhibitionTaka Ishii Gallery, TokyoGroup
200412 from Cheim & ReadFay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GAGroup
2004Hollywood BoulevardGaleria Presença, PortoGroup
20042004 Whitney Biennial ExhibitionWhitney Biennial, New York City, NYGroup
2004Social Strategies: Redefining Social RealismSchick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NYGroup
2004Lo mi ricordoGalleria S.A.L.E.S., RomeGroup
2003Why Jack PiersonRosenwald-Wolf Gallery - The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PASolo
2003Jack Pierson - CollagesHamiltons Gallery, LondonSolo
2003Objets ? Objets !CAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, BordeauxGroup
2003Perpetual BlissGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisGroup
2003Sculpture 03Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgGroup
2003Simple MarksCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2003Social Strategies - Redefining social realismUniversity Galleries at Illinois State University,Normal, IlGroup
2003Heaven & HellBarbara Mathes Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2003IMAGING THE ABSTRACTKinz + Tillou, New York City, NYGroup
2003Karaoke Death MachineDaniel Reich Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2003TALKING PIECESMuseum Morsbroich,LeverkusenGroup
2003Inaugural ExhibitionRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Jack Pierson - TruthGalerie Aurel Scheibler, CologneSolo
2002Jack Pierson - RegretsMuseum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FLSolo
2002It's Unfair!Museum De Paviljoens, AlmereGroup
2002Text MassageGaleria Helga de Alvear, MadridGroup
2002PortraitsAndré Simoens Gallery, Knokke-HeistGroup
2002Bad BoysAllston Skirt Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2002Warhol Explicitly QueerLeslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York City, NYGroup
2002WhisperGalerie Aurel Scheibler, CologneGroup
2002Time Space MotionGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, SalzburgGroup
2002Meditation on a Painting by DiebenkornHenry Art Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2002AmericansMMK Museum Moderner Kunst - Stiftung Wörlen, PassauGroup
2002DesireGalleria d'Arte Moderna di Bologna - GAM, BolognaGroup
2002DeBellevue, Isaksson, Kooiker, PiersonBjörkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2002COPYAndrew Roth Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2002Collections croiséesCAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, BordeauxGroup
2002Accrochage d´hiverGalerie Jérôme de Noirmont, ParisGroup
2002Teoría del ocioGaleria Jumex, Mexico CityGroup
2002Group Exhibition: 5 Sculptures D'Amelio Terras, New York City, NYGroup
2001Jack Pierson - Under the Top!Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CASolo
2001Heads or TailsGalerie Praz-Delavallade, ParisGroup
2001Another DayBjörkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2001Brave New WorldGalería OMR, Mexico CityGroup
2001The Nature of Still LifeGalleria d'Arte Moderna di Bologna - GAM, BolognaGroup
2001MasculinitiesKunsthallen Nikolaj, CopenhagenGroup
2001Geometrie & GestusGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgGroup
2001Liquid PropertiesCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2001Somewhere Over The RainbowFRAC - Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-lès-RouenGroup
2001Signs Of The TimesH&R Block Artspace at Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MOGroup
2001DrawingsRegen Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001HappinessGaleria Presença, PortoGroup
2001Spiritual AmericaMassimo Audiello Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2001Post-Modern Americans: A SelectionThe Menil Collection, Houston, TXGroup
2001Lovesexy: Identity and Desire in the MCA CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2001A Way with Words - Selections from the Whitney Museum of American ArtWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup
2001Relation (s)Björkholmen Gallery, StockholmGroup
2001Before They Became Who They AreWehby Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2000Villes intimesCAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, BordeauxGroup
2000On LanguageSean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2000Mark Flood - Dan McCarthy - Jack PiersonAnton Kern Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2000Let's EntertainWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2000Welcome to Our Community Everyone Here Loves GodJack Hanley Gallery - San Francisco,San Francisco, CAGroup
2000CouplesCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
1998Jack Pierson - New PhotographsGalerie Aurel Scheibler, CologneSolo
1997Jack Pierson - The Lonely LifeFrankfurter Kunstverein, FrankfurtSolo
1996Jack Pierson - The Lonely LifeUrsula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-UnteröwisheimSolo
1996Jack Pierson - PaintingsWhite Cube, LondonSolo
1995Jack Pierson: New WorkBaldwin Gallery, Aspen, COSolo